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25 Longest Film Sequels Ever Made

Action Tv, Sequels, Tarzan

What is the longest film sequels ever made? This is an interesting question that most of the moviegoers in the world keep asking and wondering. Some might say James Bond, Friday the 13th, or Nightmare on Elm Street. But are they fit for the title?

Well, I collect 25 movies that I considered as the longest sequels that ever made. They are the movies that have been produced & released more than 10 sequels, which I think it is qualified to be called “the longest sequels”. Ok… This is another chance for you to guess, what is the longest film sequels ever made? Give up? Then, you should check this list out.

25. Star Trek (11 series)

At # 25, we got the legendary Star Trek. Yes, you know it since you were a kid. Created by Gene Roddenberry, Star Trek was a long television series which started to air in 1966 until 1978. Several series of Star Trek continue to be made after that (Star Trek : The Next Generation (1987 – 1994), Deep Space Nine (1993 – 1999), Voyager (1995 – 2001), and Enterprise (2001 – 2005)).

The first Star Trek film was Star Trek : The Motion Picture (1979). It gains success in box office chart, led to five more films featuring the original cast of television version of Star Trek (William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, George Takei, DeForest Kelley, Nichelle Nichols, and Walter Koenig). Meanwhile the cast of Star Trek : The Next Generation (Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, Brent Spiner, LeVar Burton, and Marina Sirtis) starred in a further four films. The 11th series – simply called Star Trek – will be released on May 8, 2009 in North America and UK.It considered as the prequel of Star Trek since it will explore the back stories of James T. Kirk (Chris Pane) and the famous Mr. Spock (Zachary Quinto).

24. Friday the 13th (12 series)

Yeah….. Jason Voorhees rocks!!! He stays on #24 with his 12 series of terror. Created by Victor Miller, this slasher movie franchise has fright people around the world for almost 20 years. The last sequel – Friday the 13th – was released on February 2009 and has earned more than US$ 89 million worldwide (while it used US$ 19 million of budget).

The original film (Friday the 13th – 1980) was produced and directed by Sean S.Cunningham. The story actually focused on Mrs Voorhees / Pamela Sue Voorhees (played by Betsy Palmer), a former Crystal Lake camp cook and the mother of Jason Voorhees. She was desperately anger after her son Jason drowned in the lake because two camp staff members were having sex instead of watching her son. The story ended when Alice (Adrienne King) decapitated Mrs Voorhees.

Jason just fully appeared in Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981). In this sequel, Jason was revealed to be alive and fully grown. He stayed in Crystal Lake and guards it from all intruders.

In Friday the 13th Part 3 (1982), Jason got a hockey mask – in which become his trade mark until today – and released his wrath. He killed and killed without hesitate. The producers are repeating this plot for the next sequels. Even most critics turn down the films, Friday the 13th proved to be one of the most successful media franchises – not only for the success of the films, but also the extensive merchandising and repeated references to the series in popular culture.

23. Gamera (12 series)

In # 23, we got Gamera, a giant flying turtle from Japan. Created in 1965 by Daiei Motion Picture Company, it is very close rival to Godzilla, the successful monster from Toho Studio. Since mid to late 1960, Gamera has gained fame and notoriety as Japanese icon in his own right.

It made his first appearance in Gamera (1965), which made in black-and-white. Directed by Noriaki Yuasa and written by Nisan Takahashi, this movie turned to be a big hit with children. Since then, there are 11 sequels were published and released. The last sequel is Gamera the Brave / Chisaki Yusha Tachi Gamera (2006).

22. Pokemon (12 series)

Originally, it released as a pair of interlink-able Game Boy role-playing video games. When it turned to be the second most successful and lucrative video game-based media franchise in the world on 1995, Pokemon have been merchandised into anime, manga, trading cards, toys book, movies, and other media.

The Pokemon movies are centered on the quest of Ash Ketchum (known as Sathoshi in Japan version), a Pokemon Master in training. Together with his small group of friends, they are traveling around the fictitious world of Pokemon along with their Pokemon partners. The first movie of Pokemon (Pocket Monster / Pokemon : The First Movie (1998)) begins with Ash’s first day as a Pokemon trainer. Then the series follows the storyline of the original games.

The latest sequels (the 12th series) of Pokemon is Pocket Monsters Diamond & Pearl the Movie : Arceus, To The Conquering of Space Time was just released on 15 December 2008 in Japan.

21. Witchcraft (13 series)

Although it is not a good film, but it really surprise me to know that it had 13 sequels already. The first series of this horror thriller films was Witchcraft, released in 1988. Directed by Rob Spere and starred Anat Topol, Gary Sloan, Mary Shelley, and Elizabeth Stocton, the movie told about Grace Churchill who is having a baby and having some disturbing visions flash in her mind about witches being burned at the stake. The visions get worse after she, her husband, and the baby moved to her mother-in-law’s house.

The sequel, Witchcraft II : The Temptress is continuing the story.

All Witchcraft series were made as low-budget budget movies. But most of them can gain more than US$ 1 million for each series. Well… not bad for a B-Movies like this. The last sequel – Witchcraft XIII : Blood of the Chosen – was released in 2006, and it seems to be the last series.

20. Detective Conan / Case Closed (13 series)

Also known as Meitantei Conan in Japan, originally it is a Japanese detective manga series, written and illustrated by Gosho Aoyama. It has been serialized in Weekly Shonen Sunday – manga magazine for boys in Japan – since 1994 until today. The story follows the adventure of Shinichi Kudo / Jimmy Kudo, a prodigious young detective who was inadvertently transformed into a child due to a poison. Since gain a huge popularity in Japan, it was adapted into an anime series by Tokyo Movie Shinsha. The series broadcasted in Japan on Animax, Yomiuri TV, and Nippon Television since January 1996 until today & more than 530 episodes were shown.

There are 13 movies of Case Closed already made. Ten of them reach the highest box office chart in Japan. The first movie, Case Closed : The Time-Bombed Skycrapper was screened and released on 19 April 1997. Meanwhile the thirteenth series, Detective Conan : The Raven Chaser was released on April 2009. The fourteenth movie is planning to be released on April 2010.

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19. Sherlock Holmes (14 series)

I bet you might have no idea if Sherlock Holmes already made in 14 series. Yes, it is true. There is a Sherlock Holmes’ series of movies, played by Basil Rathbone (as Sherlock Holmes) and Nigel Bruce (Dr. Watson). Both of them were played in 14 black and white Sherlock Holmes films together.

The first movie is The Hound of Baskervilles (1939), in which unexpectedly became a hit. Since then several series of Sherlock Holmes’ adventures had been made, based on William Gillette’s 1899 play. All of the Sherlock Holmes series were made during World War 2, so most of them were explicit war issue and anti-Nazi themes.

The last sequels of Sherlock Holmes series that played by them was Dressed to Kill (1946).

18. The Marx Brothers (16 series)

The Marx Brothers was a Jewish-American family comedy act. Originally came from New York City, they enjoyed their success in Broadway and motion pictures from early 1900 – 1950. They made 16 series of movies already. Thirteen of them were selected by the America Film Institute as among the Top 100 Comedy Movies (two of them – Duck Soap and A Night at the Opera – were stayed on the Top Twelve).

The core of the act was the three elder brothers Chico, Harpo, and Groucho. Later their two younger brothers (Gummo and Zeppo) joined.

Their first movie, Humor Risk (1921), was never released and considered as a lost film. Their second movie, Animal Crackers (1930) were gained a commercial success. Their movies were keep gaining success until their last movie (the 16th series), The Story of Mandkind (1957).

17. Andy Hardy (16 series)

For some of you who live around 1937 – 1960, might be remember about Andy Hardy. He is a fictional character, played by Mickey Rooney. Andy is a youthful selfishness teenager and usually got trouble with money or girls. The movies showed the relationship between Andy and his father, Judge Hardy, who was a man of absolute morality and integrity and a gentle humanitarian with a droll sense of humor.

Andy Hardy appeared in a very first time in A Family Affair (1937). The series ended with Andy Hardy Comes Home (1958). In this movie, Andy returned to civilian life after fighting in World War 2. But it ended with a “To Be Continued” and never been continued until today.

16. Crayon Shin Chan (17 series)

Ever since I watched this movie in 1992, I have no idea what make this movie become a hit. It has similar type of sketch as South Park, but the story is more wacky antics. Many jokes were occasionally weird, inappropriate use of language, and behavior. Many non-Japanese viewers and readers found difficulty to understand the jokes.

Crayon Shin-Chan originally is a Japanese manga series written by Yoshito Usui. It tells the adventures of five-years-old Shinnosuke “Shin” Nohara and his parents, neighbors, and friends. Its first appearance is in a Japanese weekly magazine – Weekly Manga Action – in 1990. Then it made in anime series and aired on TV Asahi since 13 April 1992 until today.

The 1st movie of Shin-Chan was premiered on July 1993, called Shin-Chan : Action Kamen vs Haigure Devil. It gained a very successful performance. The same things happen to all of the sequels, including the last series – Crayon Shin-Chan : Otakebe! Kasukabe Animal Kingdom – which just premiered on April 2009?

15. James Bond (22)

“Bond. James Bond.”

Who don’t know this phrase? It came from the legendary British Secret Agent, James Bond. With his trade mark 007’s number and his famous License to Kill, James Bond already entertained us with his act for more than 20 years. The fictional character created by Ian Flemming in 1953 was known at the very first time from the novel Casino Royale (1953).

The successful James Bond’s movie franchise is starting in 1962 when Albert R. Broccoli produced Dr. No. Taken from the same title of Flemming’s novel, the movie that only made is US$ 900,000 gained US$ 109,600,000 worldwide gross. And you know the rest. There are 22 sequels already made and 6 actors have played as this super agent (Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan, and Daniel Craig). The 22nd series of James Bond is Quantum of Solace (2008), gained total box office of US$ 515,588,687 worldwide, while using US$ 230,000,000 budget.

14. Zatoichi (27 series)

Zatoichi is a fictional famous character featured in one of the Japan’s longest running series films and television series. Created by novelist Kan Shimozawa, Zatoichi is a blind masseur and swordmaster who wanders around the country, making his living by gambling as well as gibing massages, performing acupuncture, singing, and playing music. Shintaro Katsu was played this character in 26 movies of Zatoichi in 1962 – 1973 and 1989. He also played all four seasons of the television series. For 30 years of his career, Shintaro played and been known as this character.

Zatoichi was introduced in its first movie The Tale of Zatoichi and The Tale of Zatoichi Continues. Both were produced and released in 1962.

After Shintaro died of pharyngeal cancer on 21 June 1997, Takeshi Kitano continues the adventure of Zatoichi in the 27th series called simply Zatoichi (2003).

13. Blondie (28 series)

Blondie is a character based on comic strip on the same name, created by Murat Bernard “Chic” Young. It has been published in newspapers since 8 September 1930. The first film – Blondie – was produced in 1938. Penny Singleton was played as Blondie Bumstead (since then, she’s well-known and continued to play several series of Blondie’s sequels). It gains popularity very quick, and appears in its sequels such as Blondie Meets the Boss (1939), Blondie Brings Up Baby (1939), Blondie on a Budget (1940), Blondie Has Servant Trouble (1940), etc. The last series of Blondie is Beware of Blondie (1950).

12. Godzilla (28 series)

Godzilla is a fictional Japanese giant monster. Introduced from its film, Godzilla (1954), it’s become a successful landmark for Japanese science fiction movies. Since then, many “giant monster” movies been produced in Japan.

Following the successful of Godzilla, another series of Godzilla comes out soon, like Godzilla Raids Again (1955), King Kong vs Godzilla (1962), Mothra vs Godzilla (1964), Ghidorah the Three Headed Monster (1964), and others. The latest series (the 28th series) of Godzilla is Godzilla : Final Wars (2004). All of them are produced by Toho Company Ltd, Japan.

Actually, in 1998, TriStar Pictures produced Godzilla movie called Godzilla. Matthew Broderick and Jean Reno were playing in that movie. But since it failed to impress Godzilla fans (while it gained financial success), nobody consider it as one of the Godzilla’s sequels.

11. Doraemon (29 series)

Another Japanese manga series has been made into movie. Doraemon is created by Fujiko F. Fujio and turns to a successful Asian franchise. The story is about a robotic cat named Doraemon who travels back in time from 22nd century to aid a schoolboy, Nobita Nobi. The series first appeared in December 1969 and published simultaneously in six different magazines.

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In 1980, Toho Company – a large Japanese independent film studio located in Chiyoda, Tokyo – released the first movie called Doraemon :Nobita Dinosaur. The film is more action-adventure oriented. It became a hit in Japan. Toho later released the series as annual films. Some of the series which has been considered as financial success are The Record of Nobita : Spaceblazer (1981), Nobita and the Haunts of Evil (1982), Nobita’s Little Star Wars (1985).

The latest sequel of Doraemon series is The New Record of Nobita : Spaceblazer (2009). It is also known as Doraemon the Hero (2009), and already released in Japan on 7 March 2009.

10. Carry On (30 series)

It is a long-running series of low budget British comedy films, directed by Gerald Thomas and produced by Peter Rogers. They are an energetic mix of parody, farce, slapstick, and double entendres. The mainstay of Carry On humour was innuendo and the sending-up of British institutions and custom.

The series began with Carry on Sergeant (1958). It is about a group of recruits on National Service. The movie was sufficiently successful that others followed, such as Carry on Nurse (1959), Carry on Jack (1963), Carry On Spying (1964), Carry on Follow That Camel (1968), etc. The last sequel of this long series is Carry on Columbus (1992).

9. Kamen Rider (35 series)

Kamen Rider is another famous super hero from Japan. Created by Shotaro Ishinomori, it started as a tokusatsu (super hero genre in Japan) television series since April 1971. The series actually ended on February 1973. However since a lot of people enjoy the series and asked for more, the series are keeping in produced in many sequels until today.

The original Kamen Rider told a story about Takeshi Hongo, a regular young man who enjoyed riding motorbike, whose been kidnapped by Shocker, a mysterioius terrorist organization. They turned him into a mutant with grasshopper-looking. But he turned against Shocker and chooses to save the humanity. Takeshi transforms himself as a superhero called Kamen Rider (Masked Rider).

Since the tv series run very well, Kamen Rider has been made into movies. The first Kamen Rider film is Go! Go Kamen Rider (1971), which actually the expanding of Episode 13 of Kamen Rider tv version. Later it continued with Kamen Rider vs Shocker (1972) which was a direct sequel of Go! Go Kamen Rider but have no relation with the tv series. Since then, more Kamen Rider movies have been produced. The latest sequel is Kamen Rider Den-O & Decade NEO Generations The Movie : The Onigashima Battleship (2009). It’s the fourth film adaptation from Kamen Rider Den-O, following Kamen Rider Den-O : I’m Born! (2007), Kamen Rider Den-O & Kiva : Climax Deka (2008), and Saraba Kamen Rider Den-O : Final Countdown (2008).

Meanwhile another Kamen Rider movie – in which to be considered as the 36th series – called Kamen Rider Decade The Movie : All Riders vs Great Shocker will be opened in Japanese theaters on 8 August 2009.

8. Charlie Chan (47 series)

For some people in America, Charlie Chan is a famous Chinese-American detective. Created by Earl Derr Biggers, it appeared in six novels which are published from 1925 – 1932.

The first movie of Charlie Chan called The House without a Key (1926) which is taken from the first novel of Biggers. Played by Gierge Kuwa (as Chan) and produced by Pathe Studios, the film somehow was lost. It went the same for the second movie, The Chinese Parrot (1926) which was also lost.

The third movie, Behind That Curtain (1929), was produced by Fox Studio and it is the first movie that had been released to audience worldwide. Another movie and sequels of Charlie Chan follows after that. The last sequel of this movie is Charlie Chan and the Curse of the Dragon Queen (1981), played by Peter Ustinov.

7. Otoko Wa Tsurai Yo / Tora San (48 series)

I feel quiet amaze with this movie. It is not about how many installments it made already or it ever been considered by the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest movie series in the world. But it is about the story of these series. All of the series had same basic plot. Tora-san, a traveling salesman arrived in some remote town planning to peddle his wares to the locals. He met a local woman. Then he heads back to his hometown, Shibamata, Tokyo, and drops in unexpectedly on his family. Then the woman visiting Tora-san and they felt in love. However, in the end, Tora-san usually inadvertently helped bring her together with an old boyfriend or another man, and left them with his broken heart.

Using the same plot for 48 sequels since 1969 – 1995? Which movie can do the same as this movie?

The character of Tora-san was played by Kiyoshi Atsumi and he played in all series of Tora-san.

6. The Three Mesquiteers (51 series)

No, I am not talking about the Three Musketeers. This is the Three Mesquiteers, a very well known series of B-movies that been released between 1936 – 1943 . The series has made in 51 series. Among those long series, 8 of them were starred by John Wayne.

It was released on September 1936, The Three Mesquiters was about threesome friends – Stony Brooke (Bob Livingston), Tuscon Smith (Ray Corrigan), and Lullaby Joslin (Sid Saylor) – who’s trying to prevent the Russians from taking over northern California. Less action and lots of laugh, this movie was gain financial successful. Soon, the sequel of this movie – Ghost Town Gold (1936) – released and got another success. And more sequels are coming up, such as Roarin’ Lead (1936), Trigger Trio (1937), and others. The last sequel – Riders of the Rio Grande – was released in 1943.

5. Emmanuelle (56 series)

I don’t feel convenience when I must include this movie into my chart. But…. Hey… I think I must be playing fair here. This movie has the credit, and deserves to stay on my chart.

For you who have no idea what movie is this, Emmanuelle is a series of French softcore erotic movie. The first movie – titled Io, Emmanuelle – released in 1969. Nobody notice the movie until its sequel – Emmanuelle (1974) – released. Directed by Just Jaeckin and played by Dutch actress Sylvia Kristel, it became a hit and one of the most successful French cinemas ever made. The story of this movie was based on novel Emmanuelle : The Joys of A Woman (written by Emmanuelle Arsan).

The latest sequel of Emmanuelle is Emmanuelle Tango in which had released in 2006. Meanwhile another sequel of Emmanuelle was plan to be made in September 2008. However, until this chart was made, I did not receive further update regarding this issue.

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4. Hopalong Cassidy (66 series)

It is a popular cowboy-hero story, created by Clarence E.Mulford in 1904. Since then, it already appears in novels, television series, and films. There are 66 series of film that had been produced since 1935 – 1948 and all of them were played by William Boyd as Bill “Hop-Along” Cassidy. The first series called Hop-Along Cassidy which released in two times. The original version released on 1935, then the re-issued version was released in same year titled Hopalong Cassidy Enters. Hopalong Cassidy soon became the hero among the kids that time and Boyd achieved his success while playing this character.

Strange Gamble (1948) is the 66th series and the last sequel of Hopalong Cassidy in theater, after it made as television series in 1950.

3. Tarzan (89 series)

Well… for you who don’t know Tarzan, please go back to your kindergarten class. I have read this story ever since I was there. The fictional character created by Edgar Rice Burroughs has been known since 1912.

The story about kid that been raised by animals and soon become the king of the jungle has been made into movie since 1918. At least there were 89 movies of Tarzan that have been made from 1918 – 2008. The first movie – Tarzan of the Apes (1918) – was silent picture adapted from the original Tarzan novels which appeared after 6 years of the character’s creation. Gordon Griffith was the first person who starred in Tarzan movies. Since then, there are about 8 movies that made in silent picture until 1928. Four movies were played by Elmo Lincoln, and other were played by Gene Pollar (1 sequel), Frank Merrill (1 sequel), P. Dempsey Tabler (1 sequel), and James Pierce (1 sequel).

Tarzan movies with sound were start to made in 1929, and it began with Tarzan the Tiger, featuring Frank Merrill as the Ape Man.

The most popular series of Tarzan films began with Tarzan The Ape Man (1932), starring Johnny Weissmuller. He is the most famous and longest-lasting screen Tarzan. He played as the Ape Man in 12 sequels.

Lex Barker portrayed Tarzan in 1949 – 1953 era. He played in 5 Tarzan films. Next came six films starring Gordon Scott (1955 – 1960). His best performances were in Tarzan’s Greatest Adventure (1959) and Tarzan the Magnificent (1960).

Other persons who played as Tarzan in this era were Denny Miller (1 sequel, 1959), Jock Mahoney (2 sequels, 1962 – 1963), Mike Henry (3 sequels, 1966 – 1968), and Ron Ely (2 sequels, 1970).

After that, Tarzan series went on hiatus until 1981, when Tarzan the Ape Man (played by Miles O’Keeffe) released. It is more considered as remake than sequel, but most fans prefer to called it as sequel. Then another sequels – Greystoke : The :Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes (1984), starring Christopher Lambert – released.

The last Tarzan movie to date was Tarzan and the Lost City (1998) which starred Casper Van Dien.

Since then, there are some others Tarzan movies that been made in live action-tv series and animated version. One of them is Tarzan (1999) that produced by Disney.

2. Wong Fei Hung (99 series)

The series of Wong Fei Hung has been recorded in The Guinness Book of Record as the longest movie series ever made. Yes, it has 99 series so far & no any other movie that can beat its record.

Wong Fei Hung was an actual person who lived in 1847 – 1924. He was a very well-known martial art master, a practitioner of traditional Chinese Medicine, and revolutionary who became a Chinese folk hero.

The most famous and long-lasting cast of Wong Fei Hung is Kwan Tak Hing. He played 77 series since 1949 – 1981. The first movie – The Story of Huang Fei Hong part 1 (1949)- was directed by Wu Pang and produced by Yong Yao Film Company. This movie was gain a huge success and spawned many sequels since then.

The last series of Wong Fei Hung that played by Kwan Tak Hing was Dreadnaught (1981). In this series, he played together with Yuen Biao – one of Jackie Chan’s brother-in-martial.

After the retirement of Kwan Tak Hing, the adventure of Wong Fei Hung still continues to be made and played by many actors. Jackie Chan also played this character in Drunken Master (1979) and earned his popularity since then.

The most famous actor who played this character after Kwan Tak Hing is Jet Li. He started to play this character in Once Upon a Time in China (1991) – that made him famous. There are four sequels of Once Upon A Time that he starred and one spin-off of Wong Fei Hung series.

The last sequels of Wong Fei Hung series is Once Upon A Time in China VI / Once Upon a Time in China and America (1997), played by Jet Li and directed by Sammo Hung.

You can see the latest appearance of this character in Kung Fu Panda’s latest direct-to-video movie called Kung Fu Panda vs Wong Fei Hung (2009).

Then…. Who stands in Number One’s position?????


Here you go….

1. Three Stooges (217 series)

Yeah… you might wonder, “If this is the longest series in the world, why Guinness Book of World Record did not mention it?

Well…. I guess it because most of their movies were made in 30 minutes movies, and it considered as “short movie” instead of long movie. But even that, they actually made their appearances in at least 27 series of feature length movies already.

For you who don’t know about them,, The Three Stooges were an American vaudeville and comedy act of the early to mid 20th century best known for their numerous short subject films. Their hallmark was physical slapstick comedy punctuated by quickly-delivered one-liners, within outrageous storylines. They were commonly known by their first name like “Larry, Moe, and Curly”, “Moe, Larry, and Shemp”, “Moe, Larry, and Joe”, and “Larry, Moe, Curly-Joe”

They marked their first appearance in their first feature length movie, Soup to Nuts (1930). It directed by Benjamin Stoloff. Meanwhile their first short movie was Woman Haters (1934). Since then, each 3-4 month, they released one of their short movies.

Their final feature length film was Kook’s Tour (1970) in which released by mid of 1970 after Larry Fine – one of the Three Stooges – suffered a sever stroke on January 9, 1970, a month before the movie released.